Friday, August 4, 2017
Holland Park and Alma-Tadema
Well, I did get myself out of the house yesterday. I went to Holland Park, took in an art show and had a long, long walk through the city. It was a fantastic day.
When we lived in Notting Hill I visited Holland Park fairly frequently, but I hadn't been there in years. It was like visiting an old friend. The peacocks in the Kyoto Garden were strutting their stuff for visitors:
Then I went to the Leighton House Museum, which has a show of works by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, a prominent Victorian artist. I was curious about Alma-Tadema because his former home is near the school in St. John's Wood where Dave and I work. The house has a blue plaque bearing his name, and until I saw that plaque I swear I'd never even heard of Alma-Tadema. So when I got wind of this exhibit I thought I'd check it out.
I was very pleasantly surprised. Alma-Tadema was a brilliant painter whose dreamy scenes of antiquity conjure an idealized, lost world. His perspectives, compositions and level of detail -- the mosaic floors, marble surfaces, draped fabrics, embroidery -- are amazing. His wife and daughters were artists, too, and some of their paintings were on display as well. (I'd post a picture, but photography isn't allowed in the museum. Still, Google him.)
When I got out of the show I went walking through Kensington, Brompton and Fulham, winding all the way to Fulham Palace on the river. This took me the rest of the afternoon -- I didn't get on a tube for home until almost 5 p.m. I stopped in a little restaurant along the way and had an "earth bowl" for lunch. It did not contain, as Dave later surmised, twigs, bark and snail shells, but instead broccoli, carrots, quinoa, kidney beans and walnuts.
It felt great to get out and move around! I'm going to do more of that as our vacation winds to its inevitable conclusion. (I go back to work in a little more than a week!)